People of PressPage: Tom Gubbins
A journalist turned Sales Director with a love for sports
Our Sales Director North America is not your typical sales guy. With many years of experience in journalism and public relations, he knows exactly how to help clients improve their PR strategies and reach the right journalists. His friendly personality, positive attitude and in-depth knowledge of PR have brought him a long way. Some of his work is even on display in a museum!
Could you describe briefly what your role is within PressPage?
I am the Sales Director for North America. I’m in charge of sales operations, sales processes, new business development, and anything dealing with sales in the USA and Canada. I meet clients and prospects to go over their online newsrooms and PR strategy. We look at what they can do better, what audiences they are trying to reach, and how their online newsroom can help meet their goals for PR and media relations. I also work with our SDR team in Chicago on a daily basis, I’m helping them with their outreach.
Before I started working at PressPage, I worked about 15 years in the public relations industry. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 5 years before I made the move to PR. I worked at PR Newswire for 12 years and at Marketwired for 2 years. I ended up in sales by accident. I became an editor at PR Newswire and there I tried to find how to get the most exposure for clients. I know what a reporter wants from you, so that is what I told our clients. My managers and I found out that I was selling broader distribution, photo distribution and other services while I was just trying to help the client. So I moved over to sales and worked up the ranks. I’m a journalist selling a journalism product. I’m not going to sell you something just to make money, I always focused on the need.
As a journalist, you are taught to interview people and to get information out of people to tell a full story. That has served me very well. Not just from a sales perspective, but also from a management perspective. It has allowed me to better understand my colleagues and what their wants and needs are. A a manager, you have to be a people person.
Three things you didn’t know about Tom
About 4 years ago I became a licensed USA swimming official, I work with kids from 5 to 25 years old. I have three kids that are very active in sports. My daughter took up swimming first and we fell in love with the sport. My sons got involved as well. In swimming it takes a lot of volunteer effort. There was a need for people to become officials, so I stepped up. I took some classes, took some tests and became an official. I tend to be quite tough on my kids as a referee, I have even disqualified them. Imagine the ride home after that.
While in college, a lot of my time was taken up by being the editor in chief of the college newspaper. We were recognized as the best college newspaper in the nation, and I’m still very proud of that. A memorable experience was when I was the editor of the newspaper on 9/11. It was a tragic day and it was very scary, we were just college kids. The issue of our newspaper is in a museum in Washington DC. I look back with a lot of pride.
I am a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears, I grew up with the sports and have been a fan forever. I go to games regularly and of course I am fully decked out in my team’s gear. My entire family really gets into game day Sundays in our house are all about football, even the dog wears a Bears jersey.
The secret dream of Tom
If everything was perfect, I would like to travel more with my family. I would love to take them to see the world. I would start with Hawaii, because I love the beach. I’m not a surfer but my idea of a vacation is a chair in the sand next to the water, and just relax. I can do that all day.
PressPage provides a SaaS PR platform with additional services for creation of advanced social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs. It enables brands to publish and distribute rich content, and provides direct insights into the results. PressPage empowers PR professionals by adding efficiency and effectiveness to their daily work routine.